Grab a bowl of this cozy High Protein Tempeh Mushroom Bolognese–it makes for the perfect hearty lunch or dinner. I don’t know about you, but bolognese is a classic in my book, and unfortunately, usually involves some kind of meat for texture and flavour. There are many ways to re-create bolognese and I’ve seen versions using mushrooms, lentils, or pure veg, all of which have been delicious by the way. But the thing is, I was missing that texture, chew and of course, would always appreciate a boost of plant protein in my meals. And so, I decided to try creating a bolognese with one of my favourite plant proteins of all time–tempeh!
This sauce can be enjoyed with your favourite pasta of choice, and you can opt to use a legume based pasta for even more protein. It’s savoury, rich, loaded with herbs and spices and has an amazing texture too! Go ahead and make extra, because this is one of those only-gets-better-with-time dishes. The flavours have time to marinate, mingle and mix with each other, so don’t be afraid to meal prep or pop leftovers in the freezer.
To make this High Protein Tempeh Mushroom Bolognese, all you really need are a handful of simple ingredients like tempeh, mushrooms, diced tomatoes, and lots of herbs and spices.
This High Protein Tempeh Mushroom Bolognese is vegan, gluten free, oil free, refined sugar free, nut free and as the name suggests, high in protein! This delicious sauce can be meal-prepped, or batch prepared in advance and stored in the freezer.
Tempeh → is a soybean protein, similar to tofu, but made with whole soy beans. You can see the texture in strips of tempeh, which comes in a rectangular block form. It’s rich in protein and gut-healthy as it’s fermented as well.
Mushrooms → are a wonderful source of umami flavour, texture and a decent amount of plant protein too.
secrets to success
To make this recipe, I highly recommend using tempeh, however if you’re allergic to soy it actually comes in soy-free varieties. Some alternatives include chickpea tempeh and black bean tempeh, for example. Be sure to use an unseasoned tempeh, so that the bolognese flavour can really penetrate and do its thang.
I used shiitake mushrooms to get maximum texture and flavour, but you can also use button mushrooms, dried mushrooms, and portobello mushrooms if you prefer. Get creative and get your shroom on!
As mentioned, this is a recipe that gets more flavourful and delicious with time. If you have the additional time to do so, please let your sauce simmer or pop it in the oven at a low temp. Alternatively, throw it into a crockpot or store leftovers and re-heat to taste that extra flavour unlock.
If you see celery in the recipe notes and you’re thinking oh no… because you hate celery, try this tip. Use a food processor to give a small chop to your celery slices, and make sure you really sauté the heck out of them. When they’re softened and broken down, the astringent celery flavour disappears. Trust me though, it’s a classic in most bolognese recipes and usually offers a delicious flavour in tandem with onion and carrots. That’s why it’s included in mirepoix and always paired with those two veggies.
If you try this recipe out, tag me on Instagram @veggiekins so I can see your delicious re-creations and for a chance to be featured! As always, I love when you share your reviews in the comments below, and if you make any fun substitutions, let me know how it worked out below too!
A delicious high protein Tempeh Mushroom Bolognese, a vegan take on bolognese. Gluten free, oil free, refined sugar free and nut free.
1/2 cup shredded or very finely diced carrot
3/4 cup minced onion
1–2 stalks celery, roughly 1/3 cup finely diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried sage
1/4 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp paprika
2 tsp coconut sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp gluten free soy sauce
1 tbsp miso paste
2–3 cups mushrooms of choice (I used shiitake, button mushrooms work too)
4–5 ounces tempeh
8oz diced tomatoes
1/2 cup veggie broth
2 bay leaves
8oz pasta of choice, cooked
1/4 cup plant milk
cracked black pepper
grated macadamia nut (in lieu of parmesan, or use vegan parmesan)
parsley or basil to garnish
In a large saucepan over medium heat add a splash of oil or use veggie broth and sauté carrots, onion and celery until fragrant. Using a spatula, stir frequently for about 5 minutes.
Add garlic and all spices to the pan, sautéing for another 1 to 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms and tempeh to a food processor on “chop” and give it a few pulses to break down and until desired texture is achieved. I like to keep mine a little chunky. Alternatively, use our hands and break down, then add to the pan along with soy sauce and miso paste.
Next add diced tomatoes to pan, along with veggie broth and bay leaves. Cover and lower heat to low, allowing sauce to simmer for about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. If your mixture feels too dry, add additional veggie broth.
Optional step: to really allow flavour to marinate, you can place saucepan into the oven at roughly 300F for about 20 minutes.
While sauce is simmering, prepare your pasta according to package directions and save about 1/4 cup of your pasta cooking water. When ready to enjoy, add pasta and pasta water to sauce and fold gently to combine.
Keywords: pasta, dinner, lunch, main dishes, high protein, vegan, tempeh, bolognese, gluten free, oil free, refined sugar free
Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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